Wanikani taking too much time?

I’m currently in my final year of high school and the next few months are going to be extremely busy for me with two exam periods and tonnes of studying. For any of you that know the NSW HSC system, you know how crazy it gets in term 3 !!! All my time and effort is expected to be directed towards school and yet I’ve been finding myself spending hours on Wanikani everyday in an attempt to keep up with my lessons and reviews.

It seems counter-intuitive to give up one educational opportunity in favour of another, especially since Japanese is one of my subjects, but I’m becoming aware that Wanikani might seriously jeopardise my results if I keep spending 3-4 hours a day on it when I’m supposed to be studying…

Basically what I’m asking is, should I go on Vacation mode for a few months? I’ll miss Wanikani so much if I do :crying_cat_face:


Are you seriously spend 3-4 hours a day on Wanikani? I mean 3-4 hours entirely focusing on Wanikani and not getting distracted by anything else while you’re doing the review?

I’m asking this because I’m going at full speed doing every lesson and review ASAP. I use an app to keep tracking my study time, when I’m studying I don’t do anything but just entirely focus on Japanese lessons and reviews. I spend 2 hours max on Wanikani. Especially the day I level-up with enourmous amount of lessons to do.

I think you might need to evaluate on how you spend your time on Wanikani first. If you already give it all and it still require that much amount of time, It’s understandable. Then I think you might want to stop doing anymore lesson this will siginificantly help reduce the amount of review overtime.


3 hours a day seems a bit much to me, are you still going at full speed? If so, I’d just stop doing lessons but keep doing reviews. The number of reviews will go down quite fast (1 week is enough for a significant drop), and it will continue to go down as long as you don’t do lessons. That way you can still make sure you don’t forget what you’ve already learned, without increasing your workload to the point where it’s really impossible.

If you still have too high a workload even after stopping lessons entirely, then vacation mode might be a good option. It depends on how much time you’re still willing to spend on reviews.


I would recommend stopping any new lessons and just doing reviews. A large amount of the reviews come from apprentice items and you’ll have a lot less of those a week or two after stopping lessons.

Your time spent seems rather high. It might be a good idea to take an instant recall approach to cut that down. If you don’t know the answer within a few seconds of looking at the item, fail it. This method may not work well for everyone but it’s a good way to speed up reviews if you don’t have much time.

If you’re still spending too much time then maybe consider vacation mode.


I’d love to see what your review queue looks like. Just stop doing new lessons. I regularly sit with 80+ items in my lessons all because I know my review queue would get out of control if I added all those new items into it. Then, once I see the number of review items coming down, I do some more lessons.

This way, you’re always in charge of what a normal number of items per day looks like. If you’ve got too many, and it seems like you do, stop your lessons!


If you’re okay with expanding your overall timeline of reviews, you may want to take advantage of the Wrap Up button on the Review screen. It’ll give you 10 more reviews and then let you out of the session.

Could be helpful for time-boxing the amount of time you spend on reviews. As long as you do a little bit every day, you won’t forget what you’ve learned.


When I did the NSW HSC we still had “escaping from sabre-toothed marsupials” on the syllabus. However, much more recently I was also spending 2-3 hours a day on Wanikani. It was a combination of too many reviews and poor recall. The more stressed I got, the worse my accuracy became then I got more stressed about it.
I stopped doing lessons until my reviews went way down. Now I’m taking my time with lessons and only spending about 1 hour a day in total.


Hey, I get it. HSC study is hard and scary and boring, WaniKani is structured, regular and gives you regular hits of dopamine as you level up and pass kanji.

If you’re in Sydney you’re staring down the barrel of lockdowns, the weather is turning crap and year 12 is a rough year at the best of times, let alone in 2021.

So it’s with the greatest of sympathy and the greatest of respect that I suggest that you should turn vacation mode on for one week and see what happens. I think you’re using WK as procrastination from study - it feels like learning, it IS useful learning, but it’s not what you need right now because it’s absolutely not useful learning for the things you need to be studying.

At your WK level you’re already way ahead of HSC kanji so it doesn’t count as Japanese revision, sorry! It’s likely that if you’re spending 3 hours per day on here then you’re compromising both your study programme and your ability to switch off and get proper downtime for your brain, which you badly need.

After you’ve gone cold turkey for a week you’ll have broken the habit of doing WK instead of revision, and you’ll be in a better position to do the sensible things that others on this thread have suggested like pause or slow your lessons, cap your review time and use the wrap up function. Then you can use Wanikani as useful recreation in a light touch way to maintain your current progress and advance a little bit without compromising other parts of your life.

The crabigator goodness of WaniKani is still going to be here after your exams, and you’ve got a long life of learning ahead of you where the HSC quickly becomes a milestone that you won’t think about or care about. GOOD LUCK! Cheering for you!


Hi, just adding my two knuts here :slight_smile:

I think @Spelchek ‘s advice makes a lot of sense. I would add one piece of advice that really helped me during exam periods, especially in high school, and that is to plan study sessions with your friends. When you work as a group, you’re going to have an easier time getting your questions answered and rephrasing your lessons to answer your friends’ (and that is a very good way of testing your understanding of the material). And, you will also probably have to put WK aside for the duration of the session. That way at least even if you keep doing reviews and lessons, some solid time will still be dedicated to studying for your exams.

I am not from Australia so I don’t know if this makes sense in your situation, but that’s what I did in high school anyway.

Good luck! :unicorn:


Thank you so much! You’re completely right, I probably am using it to procrastinate, and yes, I am in Sydney :woozy_face: anyway yes I agree with everything you said so thank you. <3

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Thanks! I did that today and it does help because when I mention Wanikani they roll their eyes, so it kind of brings me back to reality hahaha …

@Rihn @Pizh @BIsTheAnswer
Thanks for suggesting not to do more lessons, that definitely makes sense so I’ll do that for now. I’ve been doing too many lessons atm so I’ve been getting 250~ reviews the past few days and it’s a bit overwhelming. Also, for those who suggested that 3+ hrs seems like too long, you’re right. Truthfully that does included getting distracted but it still adds to the amount of time Wanikani takes out of my day.
Anyway, thanks for your help!